For the 1954 Fuzz Pedal, I wanted to see how close I could get a silicon fuzz to sound like a vintage germanium fuzz. The reason was so that I could sell a really awesome fuzz pedal, but at a reduced cost compared to hand selecting germanium transistors. The goal was to make a very useable fuzz - one that you can hear all the notes when you play a chord instead of a big mess. In my opinion, this pedal very successfully achieves these goals. If you are wondering, I do a lot of research on RF power amplifiers like those in your cell phone, so I used techniques from them in this pedal design.
Additionally, the 1954 Fuzz uses very few transistors (only 4 at the max) which means that your subtle inflections and guitar playing style will come through. It took me almost 2 years of tinkering to get it right. You will love it.
Similar to my 1948 Fuzz , I fix the main two problems in Fuzz Pedals. This is what makes my pedals stand out, especially to people who are fuzz fanatics:
First Problem Fixed: Fuzz Pedals don't sound great with other pedals in front of them, especially a Wah Wah. Solution: I made a custom buffer called FuzzSAFE™ and WahSAFE™ that works extremely well with my 1954 Fuzz Pedal. It adds a little more treble that you were losing. Additionally, you can put other pedals in front and you don't have to worry about the Fuzz sound going south and sounding terrible. It sounds awesome, especially with a Wah Wah because you can get a full Wah range that you normally miss out on. Think Hendrix in his Band of Gypsies stage. This buffer is attached with a true bypass switch, so when its off, its off and not in your guitar path.
Second Problem: When you turn on a Fuzz, it is often not as loud as your stage volume. Solution: I hate pedals that aren't loud enough, so with my Fuzz pedals I added a clean gain stage that doesn't alter the fuzz sound over most of the range unless if is used as an overdriver. It is designed for a 6dB boost, which is a lot of clean boost. You can make the 1948 Fuzz as loud as you want and never loose your stage level. Additionally, because you can make it so loud, you can turn down the actual fuzz circuit and get new overdrive sounds that were unachievable at stage volume levels before. This clean boost is attached with a true bypass switch, so when its off, its off and not in your guitar path.
A note about the power supply: The way the guitar signal of a Fuzz pedal sees ground is through both the ground and the power supply. Instead, I usually recommend just running vintage fuzz pedals off of a battery but I did tune this one so that you could add an external supply if you really want. However, this pedal consumes very little power (less than 4mA!) and will last for many hours on a single battery (>100 hours) . My personal preference is to use a cheap battery from the dollar store. I use Sunbeam and they are normally two for a dollar. One thing you can try out is to use different voltages as the supply. It will sound very different with a 3V supply but will still be useable - try it out!
About the 1954 Fuzz Silicon Fuzz
I wanted to design a silicon fuzz pedal that achieves high quality vintage sounds and after a couple years of fine tweaking, this pedal does just that. You will be shocked at how close it sounds to a germanium fuzz yet retains its own characteristics. Be expressive with this extremely responsive pedal. Doesn’t lose guitar treble tone and preserves the full range of your wah wah before fuzz. Won’t get all quiet on you and lower your stage volume if you turn the fuzz down on the pedal. Cleans up with the volume rolled back on your guitar.
The 1954 Fuzz is completely handmade and has some circuitry that no fuzz pedals have (that I know of anyways). I design RF power amplifier for my day job for things like wireless communications (military and domestic) and I stole a couple tricks to make this pedal really sound awesome. I don’t like when a silicon fuzz has so much gain that its distortion harmonic profile sounds horrible, so I fixed that. Then, I tamed it just a little bit more so that you can get a smooth sound. All the qualities of the fuzz are there and it even has some new features.
So what’s new then? There is the FuzzSAFE™ and WahSAFE™ buffer technology (which can be switched off with true bypass) before the fuzz circuit. Using a little analog circuit black magic, the buffer does not destroy the fuzz sound by overdriving it like other buffers do. Instead, you can flip a switch and can get back the high frequency tone from your guitar. The buffer also makes your wah wah pedal before the fuzz sound a lot batter. You can still hear the full range of the wah. If you need it for a different Fuzz pedal, check out our Clarionix™ buffer.
What else is there to make this fuzz stand out? Well, there is a second transparent gain stage after the actual fuzz circuit. Like the buffer, if can be switched off with true bypass and is labeled boost. With it on, using the level control on the pedal, you can dial in new low fuzz sounds without loosing the actual volume of the pedal. I personally hate when you turn down the fuzz gain and then the pedal is lower than the regular stage volume. With this pedal, that will never happen. You can get some great new, low fuzz sounds with the gain rolled back. Or, you can have the fuzz cranked up and get the low fuzz tones by rolling back your guitar volume. Tons of room for expression with this pedal.
Some key features are:
- Finely tuned silicon fuzz using distortion toneshaping techniques.
- Is extremely useable and not over the top high gain like other silicon fuzz pedals
- You can hear individual notes when you play chords
- Keep your treble with the WahSAFE FuzzSAFE guitar buffer with true bypass on/off
- Buffer is the same as the individual Clarionix Buffer that I also make and sell
- Dial in new shades of fuzz with Volume Level Boost transparent gain stage after fuzz
- Be Expressive - Extremely responsive to both pick attack and guitar volume
- Vintage tone with completely analog design. Silicon transistor based fuzz circuit.
- No tone sucking. High input impedance and low output impedance
- LED indicator when pedal is on
- True Bypass input and output (Will not load other pedals when off)
- Powder coated enclosure with handmade screen printed graphics
- Handcrafted in USA
- Comes with ScreaminFX return policy - full refund if you email me and then return like new within 30 days. I think it is really important to try it with your own rig.
1954 Fuzz Specifications:
- 4.5 X 3 inches powder coated BB enclosure
- Control knobs for Fuzz, Volume, Level (Volume control after fuzz circuit), Buffer (True Bypass On/Off), Level Boost (True Bypass On/Off)
- Retro orange Hammond box with purple graphics
- Comes with Boss pedal style center pin negative power supply jack
- Pedal has been built with the highest quality parts available